Brutal Truth

Here I am, almost 33 years old, and nothing to show for it.  I’m angry.  I want to scream at the top of my lungs.  I want to break everything I see.  What’s the problem here?  Why do the good people get shit on?  Why did I go to college THREE TIMES?

This is bullshit.

So I’m here, unemployed.  I have looked everywhere.  I have applied for everything.  I have accepted random, part-time gigs for way less than a living wage, just so I could have a glimmer of pocket change for when things get really bad.  Because things haven’t turned “REALLY BAD” yet.  But hey, I lived in my car once.  I can do it again.

I’m getting turned down for server jobs.  Café jobs.  Babysitting jobs.  All this stuff I can do in my sleep.  I had an interview for a dinky café yesterday morning.  He told me I was overqualified.  I have applied for unemployment, but that doesn’t look too promising.  I think I exhausted all my funds the last time I was a poor, homeless person.

I have a college degree.  Hell, I have two college degrees.  I am a paramedic.  I busted my ass for 15 months, with no sleep, with only 3 whole days off the entire time.  I cried.  I lost my mind.  I never thought I’d make it out alive…but I did.  And for what?  To be pushed aside in a stack of paperwork because I don’t know the right people?  Fuck that.  This country has gone to total shit.  How can you tell me I’m not qualified for a job opening, when I have all the paperwork to prove just how much I sacrificed?

I didn’t sleep for over a year, so I could get thrown up on.

I lost weight because I couldn’t eat.  I did this so someone could assault me and spit in my face.

I had countless migraines due to stress, so I could get up at 3am for your toothache.

I spent $6,000 of my hard-earned money, so I could make $11/hr driving your lazy ass to the hospital.  For what?  Because you needed pain pills.

 

I took a chance on a feeling, applied for medic school, got accepted, and smashed it like a boss.  So maybe, just maybe, I could save someone.  Those times are few and far between, but that’s why any of us in EMS do this stupid shit.

SO GIVE ME A JOB.  I’m pleading with you, world.  I may not be good enough for a boy, fast enough to win a bike race, or happy enough to please myself,  but I am a good medic.  Don’t let me slip through your fingers without a chance.  I deserve a chance.

 

 

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If only we could go back…

This used to be my backyard.  I spent 3 glorious years in Mammoth…living, learning, and loving.  Nothing I’ve ever seen with my two eyes compares to the true beauty of the Sierras.  I don’t think any one place has ever inspired me in so many ways.  I think living in the depths of this mountain range sometimes causes us to become jaded and forgetful.  Now that I’m removed, I tend to daydream about the life that once was.  If only we could go back to those times when things seemed so simple, because new struggles always seem harder than the old.

You can find beauty just about anywhere, even in the ugliest places.  It doesn’t matter how something looks to the outside world.  How you feel about it in your heart is what truly matters.

Highs and Lows

Nothing compares to the highest highs in life.  The overwhelming feeling that everything is going to be okay can be, well, overwhelming.  The giddy laughter and tummy butterflies keep us coming back for more.  We tend to forget why things felt so hopeless in the first place.  When you’re at the top of the mountain, you forget about everything.  It’s amazing.

Reality can be a bitch, though, and our lives are full of ups and downs.  If we experienced highs all the time, we would never learn how to truly live.  If everything was always good, how would we appreciate change?  If we always performed at the top of our game, how would we get stronger?  Simple…

We wouldn’t.

Nothing really prepares us for heartbreak and tragedy, except for heartbreak and tragedy.  It’s a vicious circle of frustrations and emotions.  When we are at our lowest point, we tend to forget how we dug ourselves out the last time.  We forget how we managed to hang on for one more day.  We forget how to let our biggest supporters help us.  We can’t see the forest for the trees.  Add lame metaphor HERE…

My point is, we forget how to forget.  And that never goes away.  Each struggle is its own mountain to climb, and we have to teach ourselves how to climb all over again.  Somehow we manage, we learn, and we live to see another day.  No one ever has to be alone, struggle alone, or experience heartbreak alone.  While I know this to be true for others, I must continuously remind myself that people want to be there for ME when my life is a struggle.  Helping others is what I’m good at.  Allowing others to help me is a constant battle.

My mother was always good at comforting others.  As much as we fought throughout my childhood, she was always the first person to drop everything for me.  I think that’s where I got it.  My mother taught me compassion.  She taught me how to give selflessly.  My mother taught me how to love, whole-heartedly, without fear.  She taught me how to feel things without limits.  My mother taught me everything I know about being passionate and emotional.  I might spend a lot of time with tears in my eyes, but they come from a meaningful place.  A place full of love.  I see so many people unable to feel ANYTHING, and I feel sorry for them.  While the lows might be devastating, the highs are worth every ounce of risk.

My bike has become part of this equation.  I have a lot of emotions and anger inside of me, desperately looking for a way out of this body, and cycling has been my outlet.  With ‘cross season quickly approaching, my focus is shifting from what I feel to what I need.  Sure, I have days when I’d rather hide under the covers and let the world get the best of me, but I can’t allow my feelings to take over completely.  I can’t allow the lows to affect my plan.  If I can stay on the path, I will reap the benefits of hard work.  And I can do all this WHILE having fun, because it’s supposed to be fun.

In the last few years I have definitely learned how to suffer.  I watched the love of my life fall in love with someone else.  I watch my mother wilt away before my eyes.  I stood strong against physical and emotional pain.  I started my life over multiple times, alone, with no one to guide me.  I learned how to get on that bike and pedal myself into an excruciating oblivion…and live to tell about it.  I survived.  I survived it all.  I can suffer.  Better yet, I can push myself past the point of suffering.  It’s all about perspective, on and off the bike.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Bruised, sore, exhausted, and excited.  I don’t completely suck at bikes.  I change my opinion on this a lot, yes, but the truth is I’m doing well.  Many thanks and much love to those who have made this possible…you know who you are.

 

Inspired to act.  Uninspired to write.  Many unknowns.  A lot of mixed feelings.  It’s very real…and I’m willing to wait.

Peanut ‘Cross

It’s time.  The wishy-washy attitude and lack luster focus has to stop.  The thing that’s quickly become “my thing” is upon us once again.  Season 2.  No more excuses.  And yes, I know it’s supposed to be fun, and it is.  I just have a slightly different focus than many of you, and THAT is ok.  I’ve always been competitive…always been stubborn…always been tough.  Well, tough on the outside, anyway.

My hopes are high…possibly too high.  This has been the thorn in my side for as long as I can remember.  As far as ‘cross is concerned, let’s hope it keeps me motivated and focused.  I hope I can find a way to channel my life stress into bike work.  I hope I can keep my legs moving when my heart wants to quit.  I hope I can at least be good enough for the bike, because I feel less than adequate for anything else.  You know that saying, “Until you can love yourself, no one else can love you”?  I just hope my bike isn’t afraid of commitment, because I am all in.

My training has been positive, and I have seen a handful of improvements.  Chasing the boys up mountains and through the woods has caused me some pain, bruises, and memory loss, but I am stronger for it.  I’m a little faster, too.  I have been focusing on my ‘cross technique and working diligently on being smooth.  My frustrations have definitely overwhelmed me a little, and I’m also working on not losing my shit.  This is probably one of the hardest things to change, because I get overwhelmed, angry, and emotional.  My emotions run this body.  I lead with my heart.  I am probably one of the most passionate human beings you’ll ever meet…believe that.

And my heart writes bad checks on the regular.  I guess that’s the price I pay for giving a shit.

So what does all this mean?  For starters, this month is serious.  I’m on a program and very committed to sticking to it.  If you ask me to ride and it’s NOT on my program, don’t take offense if I say no.  I really want to excel in my races this year, and I would like to see what it feels like to touch the podium.  Winning isn’t everything, but I want to see improvements, and I’m not shy about that.

And yes, there will be crying.  I’m sorry, but that’s just the kind of girl I am.  Once you crack the outside, I’m all mush.  I’m the female Morrissey of bike racing.  I’m all in.  All the time.  And I’m willing to risk everything for a single moment of bliss.

 

If you just stop thinking about it so much, and let yourself go, you might find out you’re already there.  It’s been there the whole time.  All you have to do is take a couple of steps, swing your leg over the seat, and keep moving.  You can feel it.  You’ve committed this far, so why not go for it?